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You may be aware that former President George H.W. Bush is an avid angler. I understand that our 41st president’s favorite fish is tarpon, but that his range of fishing extends to fly fishing, too. Recently, when interviewed at a charity bonefish tournament in Florida, President Bush stated, “It’s a combination of hunting and fishing, because the excitement when you see them coming across the flats with the tails in the air and the noses in the mud and they stir up the mud… It’s the closest to hunting and fishing together that I’ve ever done. And I’ve done a lot of fishing since I…became unemployed. Put it that way.”

Few people are aware, though, of how the former president helped our sport while in public office. Recently, he was honored by the American Sportfishing Association for his work. Read the ASA’s press release to learn more.

george bush fly fishingYesterday, several of the nation’s sportfishing industry and fisheries conservation leaders met with former President George H. W. Bush to honor his lifelong efforts to conserve our nation’s fisheries and their habitat. The delegation, led by Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, met with Bush at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine, a week after Bush celebrated his ninetieth birthday.

The American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) President and CEO Mike Nussman presented the former president with the inaugural KeepAmericaFishing™ Lifetime Achievement award on behalf of the recreational fishing industry and our nation’s 60 million anglers. The award, named for the former president, recognizes Bush’s leadership and lifelong personal commitment to recreational fishing and the conservation of our nation’s fisheries and wetlands. Launched by ASA in 2010,KeepAmericaFishing was established as a way for anglers to get involved in advocating for clean water, abundant fish populations and plenty of places to go fishing. In addition to this award, ASA presented its inaugural Fisherman of the Year award to Bush in 1986.

“During his administration, President Bush, an ardent angler and outdoorsman, was responsible for signing into law some of the most important legislation ever drafted to conserve our nation’s fisheries and their habitat,” said Nussman. “Today, the sportfishing industry and anglers recognized his lifelong commitment to our nation’s natural resources with the first KeepAmericaFishing Lifetime Achievement award for his extraordinary efforts to advocate for fisheries conservation and habitat restoration.”

Photos: Keys Discovery (top); Great Lakes Angler (above)


Browning has been making quality outdoor apparel for decades. Their Hell’s Canyon line is one of my personal favorites, and it wears as well as it looks.

Now, Browning introduces a line of clothing with a hint of pink fashion, a more feminine fit, and the same tough quality that fans of the famous “buck mark” have come to expect. If you’re a gal who hunts in cold weather, you’ll want to take a special look at the jacket with PrimaLoft, an incredibly light and well-insulating material. Here’s the information from Browning.

Hells Belles Ultra-Lite PantsTo keep the serious huntress warm, dry and concealed on her next hunting trip, Browning has introduced the line of Hell’s Belles clothing. Each item was designed to fit a woman’s shape while remaining highly functional in the field. Included in the new Hell’s Belles line are the Soft Shell Jacket and Pant, Ultra-Lite Jacket and Pant and the PrimaLoft Jacket. Each item is available in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity or Realtree Xtra and feature pink camo contrast blocking.

The Hell’s Belles Soft Shell Jacket and Pant feature a mid-weight shell fabric that is windproof, highly water resistant and breathable. To help control human odor, the soft fleece lining uses Browning’s revolutionary Addvanced Scent Control. The Soft Shell Jacket has stretch nylon adjustable cuffs with hook and loop closures to eliminate drafts, zipper closure handwarmer pockets and an inside security pocket with zipper closure. The Soft Shell Pant has a fully constructed waist with belt loops, hip pockets and a thigh pocket on the right side to carry gear. Available in sizes S-2XL. Suggested Retail value for the Soft Shell Jacket $212.00 and $200.00 for the Pants.

For warmer weather or high activity hunting, the Hell’s Belles Ultra-Lite Jacket and Pant uses a lightweight shell fabric that is water and wind resistant while still being highly breathable. The Ultra-Lite Jacket and Pant also feature Addvanced Scent Control to help control human odor. The Ultra-Lite Jacket has a full-length YKK front zipper and on-seam handwarmer pockets with zipper closures. The Ultra-Lite Pant has a fully constructed waist with zippered fly and belt loops. The pants feature hip pockets, one rear zippered pocket and open cuffs with zip-to-knee openings. Available in sizes S-2XL. Suggested Retail value for the Ultra-Lite Jacket and Pants, $173.00 each.

For cold weather the Hell’s Belles PrimaLoft jacket uses lightweight PrimaLoft insulation throughout the entire jacket for ultralight warmth and comfort. The jacket has a featherweight shell that is highly water and wind resistant. The Hell’s Belles PrimaLoft Jacket has Lycra® cuffs for added protection from the elements, zippered hand warmer pockets and an inside zippered pocket for valuables. Available in sizes S-2XL. Suggested Retail value for the Hell’s Belles PrimaLoft Jacket, $212.00.


It’s not new to hear older anglers talk about how good fishing was “back when I fished in the day.” Typically, I hear these anglers cite how the fish are smaller now as evidence of the declining fishery. I’ve never heard anglers complain that there aren’t enough small fish.

Well, that’s exactly the problem that’s happening in the famed fishing lakes of Minnesota in the muskie fishery. A vigorous hatchery stocking program and the raising of the take limit to 54″ inches are some of the reasons guides and biologists are saying there are more big trophy-sized fish to be caught, but less fish overall. Is this a bad thing? Read this article from the Twin Cities Pioneer Press and form your own opinion.

muskie_joebucherWhen Minnesota muskie anglers take to the water this weekend, they’ll be chasing bigger and bigger fish — but apparently less and less of them.

That’s the emerging suspicion of state biologists monitoring populations on a number of Minnesota’s roughly 100 lakes with strong populations of muskellunge. What they’ve seen is that as the population of muskies ages and fish grow larger — a trend almost certain to continue as the state adopts a 54-inch statewide minimum next year — densities of muskies are falling.

The phenomenon — suspected to be the result of big muskies eating smaller ones — is eye-opening to researchers because numbers of the fast-growing, voracious fish are naturally low to begin with.

For example, 6,581-acre Lake Bemidji is now believed to have a mere 500 to 600 adult muskies in it, according to a two-year population estimate completed last month by the Department of Natural Resources. “You’d think there’d be room for more than that,” said Gary Barnard, the DNR’s Bemidji area fisheries supervisor.

Photos: Twin Cities Pioneer Press (top); Joe Bucher (above)


I’m a huge fan of River Monsters with Jeremy Wade on the Animal Planet channel. Wade is a biologist by training, but his job, as host of the show, is to fish for unusual, dangerous fish around the world. As an angler, who wouldn’t love to travel the world to exotic destinations, in search of big-game fish? I dream of crossing off various bucket-list fish around the globe some day.

Jeremy Wade isn’t the only one who gets to live the dream fishing life. Remember, there are fishing guides that take those of us who go out looking to catch our bucket-list fish. Jako Lucas is one of them. The Venturing Angler takes us into Jako’s world.

jako_tigerfishJako Lucas is living the dream – chasing exotic species on the fly in exotic locations throughout the world!Captain Lucas recently sat down to take on some questions for the Venturing Angler:

1. Where in the world have you fly fished?

I was pretty much born into fishing. I have been fishing (or let’s say playing in little pools next to the ocean) since I was 4. My father and grandfather were avid fisherman and I was soon to follow. From a very early age I was fishing whenever I got a chance and fished a lot for big sharks on our coast line. Then fly fishing took me to many different premier, fresh and saltwater destinations around South Africa, whether it be sightfishing for yellowfish at Sterkfontein Dam to Garick in Jeffery’s Bay. I have also fished some other great fisheries around Africa, like the Zambezi for tigerfish and around the Mozambique coastline. I then moved to the United Kingdom and worked for Farlows of Pall Mall, where I continued fishing many UK fisheries including the prestigious River Test. In 2007 I joined the FlyCastaway team and have been guiding full time ever since. I have guided the notorious outer atolls of the Indian Ocean, namely Cosmoledo, Providence, Astove, Assumption, Farquhar and St. Brandon’s. I have spent a large amount of time guiding for tigerfish on the Zambezi River as well as for South Africa’s indigenous Largemouth and Smallmouth Yellowfish on the Vaal River, which is my local water. I have also guided five full seasons in Norway for the infamous Atlantic salmon. I have also completed two full seasons guiding in Mongolia for monster taimen…. a fish which has seriously captured my attention.

Photos: The Venturing Angler

Clover is a powerful wildlife attractant and a favorite food of whitetail deer throughout the year. The tiny seeds are expensive, though, and getting a food plot to produce year-round and not succumb to disease or weeds takes know-how. Fear not; you don’t need giant pieces of farm equipment to protect your investment of time and money. Instead, simply keep these four tips in mind.

Ohio Deer 2010 064Most companies will claim a lifespan of three to five years on their perennials. However, if you care for them properly a perennial stand can last for many years. Perennials like red and white clovers, alfalfa, trefoils and chicory provide dependable nutrition and attraction and are especially important for antler growth, fawn rearing and early hunting season attraction. If you follow these words of advice you will get the most out of your perennial stand.

1) The soil that you begin with will be significant in how long your perennials will last. The pH of your soil needs to be fairly neutral (6.2 to 7.5) if you want longevity from your stand. If you have acidic soil (or a low pH) it doesn’t mean that you can’t grow perennials, it just means that you need to incorporate some lime into the soil to raise the pH and reduce the acidity. With an initially neutral pH a perennial stand can grow-on for eight to ten years or more.

2) Perennials should be mowed periodically during the growing season (at least three times). Mowing not only helps to keep broadleaf weeds and grasses at bay, but it also promotes new, more attractive, palatable growth on your perennials. Many people want to plant perennials because they believe they will be less work since you only plant them once and they last for years, but perennials actually need more “tractor time” than annuals. Perennials are less expensive for the production that you receive, but with the maintenance required they will take a bit more work than annuals if you wish to do it right.

3) In most regions of the country you may also find the need to treat your stand with a grass herbicide. Mowing will usually take care of broadleaf weeds, but in severe deer in velvet2569cases there may also be selective herbicides that will deal with the broadleaf problem, depending upon what type of plants are in your perennial stand. There are numerous brands of grass herbicides that will work over perennial blends like Clover Plus or Non-Typical.

4) It is also important if you want longevity from your perennials to feed them from time to time. It’s best to fertilize with what your soil test results recommend. Most often it will be a recommendation similar to around 300 lbs of 0-20-20 per acre annually. Many choose to fertilize at planting time and then during the spring annually thereafter. Some also believe that a boost of potassium during the late summer in the north, or early fall in the south, can increase cold hardiness of the stand. About 200-250 lbs of 0-0-60 per acre should suffice.





Bluefin tuna

Atlantic Salmon


Atlantic Sturgeon

Brown Trout

Brown Trout

White Perch

White Perch




Striped Bass


Atlantic Cod









Atlantic Wolffish

White hake




American Eel